The Pennask Strain a.k.a “ Kamloops Trout “- All Hail The King!

Updated: Jan 24


It is without question, without doubt and absolute certainty the Kamloops area and interior stillwaters of British Columbia Canada holds some of the very best trout fishing in the world. With over a hundred trout lakes to choose from in an hours drive, we are living in the Stillwater trout fishing capital of the world. We boast it proudly and know that it's true! Kamloops has enough water to keep a guy exploring the local area for years and years. Every year I make it a point to fish at the very least 5 new - to - me lakes close to home, and at that rate, I'm probably good until I'm too old to fish. A real trout fishers paradise! And not just because of the prolific hatches of aquatic insects that overtake the lakes every ice off, not just the overwhelming overabundant chironomid emergence's we see every year that trout feed ferociously on to produce some of the very best action and fast paced fishing days on water a fly fisher could ever dream of. Not just because our trout grow to exceedingly larger than average sizes some exceeding over ten pounds under the right conditions, or the different various strains of trout available to target any given day. But probably greater than all of these things is the reputation of the famous "Kamloops" strain of trout. The Kings and Queens of the Trout World. No I'm not talking about our wild rainbow trout residing in Kamloops lake, though indeed there's little doubt they too will give many trout a good run for their money and where all the hype of the legendary "Kamloops trout" originally came from many decades ago. But I am actually speaking of the “Pennask" strain of rainbow trout, originating from Pennask Lake also located in central British Columbia which is stocked heavily into a great majority of our interior lakes of BC by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Though they are not a true Kamloops trout, they are in my mind, at the very core of what fly fishing the Kamloops area is all about. They are without a doubt pound for pound one of the most powerful hardest fighting fish you'll ever have the pleasure of tangling with. They are a highly insectivorous strain of Rainbow trout which makes them a perfect target for fly fishermen and a deep water forager easily distinguished from other strains in appearance by their lack of spotting, Accompanied with amazing aerial acrobatics that will put most fish species and strains to absolute shame. It is not uncommon to have these amazing creatures do 5-6-7 flips out of the water, clean out your flyline and run deep into your backing within seconds. They truly are what a fly fishers dreams are made of and the reason why we simply can't get enough! Though Pennasks are a generally smaller trout genetically compared to other strains such as the "Blackwater's" and "Fraser Valley's", when hooked, in most cases, they fight exceptionally harder than their bigger cousins and It's no secret the local lakes surrounding Kamloops harbour some real trophy size monster Pennasks due to a well managed fishery and no shortage of food. And not just from the triploiding process done at our local hatcheries, I have personally seen many diploid pennasks reach triploid potential at a few select lakes, where growing to sizes exceeding 5lbs is not uncommon and have personally caught diploid pennasks just a few ounces short of 7lbs just outside the city limits and am sure there are and have been many bigger. Our home waters grow some real heavyweights and I have the utmost respect for these big brutes. and would encourage all anglers to consider practising catch and release if and when you happen to be lucky enough to tangle with a trophy size pennask. I see all too often people let the little ones go and then retain the big one. Though I certainly don't look down on anyone who choose to retain fish for the table or perhaps for a friend or relative, I have bonked plenty of fish over the years of all kinds and sizes. But I also know the great satisfaction of letting one go, knowing that this very same awesome fish that made our day might grow even bigger, reach their full potential and one day make someone else very happy to catch as well and tend to think if it wasn't for someone else releasing it prior to me, I /we may have never had that simply awesome experience as well. The kamloops area receives a fair bit of fishing pressure each year especially in the early spring time. I tend to think if it wasn't for all our skilled anglers who practise C and R a great deal of their time, there would be far less chances of catching these trophy trout we are all seeking. The more bigger fish we choose to let live, the better the fishery and happier we all are. I also understand overpopulation of any lake does no good for size of fish either. Just something to keep in the backs of our minds when out enjoying what this amazing fishery has to offer. The larger Pennasks are and always will be, in my own personal opinion one of the very key reasons as to what makes our Kamloops fishery World Renowned and one of the greatest fly fishing destinations on Earth and why we are proud to call this Home! They are what I seek out, what I hope for when going out each year and what I dream of all winter in the off season, and every year they never fail to please. All Hail the King of Trout! Welcome to "Kamloops Trout" and as you can plainly see where our peak interests lie, please support us anyway you can to see where the possibilities will take us from here. I left a clip below of some older footage I captured a few years ago just to help elaborate how truly amazing the fight in these Kamloops pennask strain trout truly is. Thanks for Visiting!



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